One or more burglars ransacked a Mission district jewelry store last weekend in an unusual heist in which they entered through an adjoining business, broke through a shared interior door and made off with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of valuables, according to police.
Robert Avellan, the owner of Genesis Jewelry at 3260 23rd St., said the break-in happened just after 4:30 a.m. Saturday. He said the thieves entered by busting through the lower panel of a door his store shares with a Farmers Insurance office.
“They didn’t take anything on that side, but they hit us pretty bad,” Avellan said. He said more than $250,000 worth of gold jewelry was taken. A store employee forgot to put the jewelry in the safe, Avellan said.
“It’s very unusual for someone to break into one business to go into another,” police spokesman Lt. Troy Dangerfield said. “The motive was to get into the jewelry store.”
Dangerfield said apart from damage to its front door, the adjoining business was unscathed. A crowbar that may have been used in the break-in was found there, he said.
The burglary was recorded on the jewelry store’s surveillance camera, Avellan said. He said it showed a hooded man taking the jewelry from behind the store counter and possibly handing it off to another person, but no faces were shown.
Avellan suspects that two “suspicious” men who came to the store Friday night may have been casing the place. “They walked in and they left right away,” he said.
Police said no arrests have been made and the case is under investigation.
Avellan said the crime has made him nervous about his store being targeted again. The interior door has been replaced with a wall, and he’s improving the store’s alarm system.
“We’re really concerned about the situation,” Avellan said.
Avellan grew up in the Mission, and he moved his business to the current location from a 24th Street building about eight months ago. Since then, he said, things have deteriorated.
“It has changed,” Avellan said. “The robberies now are really bad.”
He said he would like to see more police officers in the neighborhood and better street lighting.